I get a lot of emails. Many of them say the same thing. Hopefully this FAQ will help clarify some things.
Q. How did you become interested in the sideshow?
A. When I first saw the X-Files episode "Humbug", which is set in Gibsonton, FL among a community of circus freaks, my interest was piqued. This would've been about 1997-98. However I didn't start actively researching the sideshow until a few years later when I happened to read the book The Two-Headed Boy and Other Medical Marvels by Jan Bondeson. A friend of my mother's saw me reading the book and suggested I rent the movie Freaks. I did, and found myself wanting to know everything about every one of the Very Special People featured in the movie. I was disappointed by the lack of comprehensive sideshow sites on the Internet and decided to make my own.
More info about your webmistress can be found on my homepage.
Q. What does "Phreeque" mean?
A. Phreeque (pronounced "freak") was the name of a comic strip I had when I was in 9th grade. I abandoned the strip after about a year, but when I needed a space for my sideshow site, I thought the Phreeque domain would work nicely.
Q. What happened to your site? There used to be a lot more pages!
A. Tripod is a sneaky little fucker. They give you 100MB of webspace for around $12 a month, but so little bandwidth that you can't afford to fill more than about 20MB. This was the problem I was having. My enormous site (about 80MB) used so much bandwidth that Tripod was constantly shutting it down, for hours, sometimes days at a time. I decided I would rather have a smaller site that was consistently accessible, than a gigantic site that was always shut down. So I weeded out about half the pages and chose to concentrate on conjoined twins, limbless people, and skeletal deformities - the categories that interest me the most.
If you are looking for photos or information about a specific person who used to be listed, I still have all the images and biographies saved to my computer. You can email me with a specific request.
Q. I'm writing a book on the sideshow. Can I have permission to use some of your images?
A. I don't own any of the images you see on my site. Most are scanned from books, others are from promotional material sold by performers at their sideshow appearances. In the case of pitchbooks and pitch cards, I usually only have scans and not hard copies. However if you hover your mouse over any of the pictures, a text box containing the copyright information for that picture should pop up. This will be useful if you're trying to obtain the rights to the picture.
I believe in the free exchange of information and images. Please see my Disclaimer & Fair Use Page.
Q. I have my own server and would be willing to give you webspace at a low low monthly rate. What do you say to that?
A. Thanks, but no thanks. Moving this site would be a huge project that I simply don't have time for. Also, a lot of people use this site for reference and I would prefer not to lose the phreeque.com domain name. If you're seriously interested in keeping Phreeque alive, you can click on the "Make a Donation" button on the front page. It is PayPal and is totally secure.
Q. You haven't updated in a while. Are you still alive?
A. Yup. If you haven't seen an update in a while, chances are I'm taking a break from my research. It does get exhausting. I am still available to answer email requests though.
Q. What happened to your page about Abby and Brittany Hensel?
Out of respect for the twins and their family, I elected to remove the page. While I don't feel my biography of the twins was in itself inappropriate or disrespectful, the Hensels are a very private family and I thought it was unfair to showcase their daughters alongside people who have made a living by exhibiting themselves. (Besides, Abby and Brittany are now old enough to surf the Internet - and it's always a very creepy feeling to find information about yourself through a Google search).
I have elected to keep my page on Lori and Reba Schappell (who are also contemporary conjoined twins) because a) they are in showbusiness, and b) they are legal adults and not teenagers like the Hensels.
If you are interested in discussing contemporary conjoined twins and conjoined twins in the news, please visit my Real Conjoined Twins News Forum hosted by Yahoo.
Q. You're a Democrat?! I hate Democrats! Please remove all the political banners from your site immediately!
A. No. Go fuck yourself.